Tuesday, August 12, 2008


My green thumb isn't so green. Well, it could be green, but it's a beginner green. My dad always had this massive garden when I was growing up. Oddly enough, I hated helping him with his garden. I swear the thing was built on top of a giant slate mine. "Helping out" in the garden usually meant picking rocks. I don't understand how my siblings and I would pick rocks every year and then the following year there seemed to be even more rocks to pick up. Needless to say I know I picked more rocks in that garden than any fruits and vegetables.

Rocks aside, there were many pleasant moments in my dad's garden. I remember taking a big bowl over to the garden, which was across the street from our house, and filling it up with snap peas for dinner. Of course, I ate more peas than I put in the bowl. That happened on more than one occasion. There were so many wonderful and edible things in that garden. Every year it seemed my dad would try something new. Finally, when I was in high school he seemed to be getting the hang of things. Our harvest would include: tomatoes, corn, snap peas, cucumbers, potatoes, broccoli, watermelon, any many other delicious treats. My dad was probably known in the neighborhood for his pumpkins. He'd grow those massive giants and these adorable little white pumpkins. For Halloween my freshmen year at college my dad sent me two white pumpkins in the mail.

Outside of the garden my dad would grow wild flowers. He would joke that he would try to temp the deer with the flowers and hope they would fill up on those and not ravish his garden. I've always loved sunflowers and my dad grew these amazing reddish-colored sunflowers for me. I'd love how they would chase the sun in the summertime.

So, this year I attempted something all by myself. Sure, I planted a few flowers in my flower beds and planted a small vegetable garden. I bought all of those plants from a local nursery. In all honesty I felt like a cheater. My dad grows all of his plants from seeds. A few weeks after I purchased all of my plants I went back and bought a package of sunflower seeds. I started them off in little plastic containers and then transplanted them into my front flower beds. My landlord thought they were weeds. I'll admit the truth, sunflowers don't look very attractive while they are growing. All of that quickly went out the window this morning. The first sign of a sunflower head began to pop this morning. I was so excited I even dragged my husband out to gaze upon this masterpiece. Okay, that was a bit dramatic! Anyway, I did it. I grew something from a little tiny seed! Next year I'll have to expand and try to grow more things from seeds.

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